Longevity News and Review provides readers with the latest information in breakthroughs pertaining to the extension of the healthy human lifespan. These news summaries are compiled by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M; www.worldhealth.net), a non-profit medical society composed of 26,000 physician and scientist members from 120 nations, united in a mission to advance biomedical technologies to detect, prevent, and treat aging related disease and to promote research into methods to retard and optimize the human aging process. Dr. Ronald Klatz, M.D., D.O., A4M President, and Dr. Robert Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP, A4M Chairman, physician co-founders of the anti-aging medical movement, distill these headlines and provide their insightful commentary.
Vitamin D Is A Cardiovascular Key
Markus Juonala, from the University of Turku (Finland), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 2,148 subjects enrolled in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study, ages 3 to 18 years at the study’s start; subjects were re-examined at ages 30 to 45 years. Childhood levels of vitamin D were measured from stored serum. Carotid intima-thickness (IMT) – a marker of structural atherosclerosis, which correlates with cardiovascular risk factors, and predicts cardiovascular events – was measured on the posterior wall of the left carotid artery using ultrasound technology. Data analysis revealed that the study subjects with 25-OH vitamin D levels (a marker of vitamin D) in the lowest quartile in childhood had subclinical atherosclerosis over 25 years later in adulthood. The study authors submit that: “Low 25-OH vitamin D levels in childhood were associated with increased carotid [ntima-thickness] in adulthood.”
Dr. Klatz observes: “Recently published studies report that vitamin D is important for cardiovascular health, with low levels linked to increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Finnish team reports that low vitamin D levels in childhood may raise risk of atherosclerosis in adulthood.”
Pollutants Pack On Pounds
Juan Pedro Arrebola, from the University of Granada (Spain), and colleagues analyzed the levels of POPs accumulated in adipose tissue (fat) in nearly 298 men and women admitted for surgical services in two hospitals in the province of Granada. Data analysis confirmed a relationship between a person’s POP levels and his/her level of obesity. Subjects with more pollutants in their systems also display higher levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. The study authors warn that: “Our results suggest a potential relationship between historical [persistent organic pollutants] exposure and serum lipids/obesity, whih followed a non-linear pattern in most cases.”
Remarks Dr. Goldman: “Despite restricted use in commercial agriculture, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) remain a public health concern because the general population is exposed via foods such as fish and meat from large animals with a high fat level. These Spanish researchers report data to suggest that levels of environmental pollutants accumulated in the body may correlate with a person’s level of obesity.”
Simple Secret to Sleep
Mindfulness meditation is a self-administered approach that intentionally focuses one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment. David Black, from University of Southern California (California, USA), and colleagues enrolled 49 men and women, ages 55 years and older, whoe experienced moderately (or greater) disturbed sleep, who were divided into two groups. One group visited the study center for six weekly two-hour sessions of a course in Mindfulness Awareness Practices for daily living. Those included meditation, eating, walking, movement and friendly or loving-kindness practices. A certified teacher led the exercises and also instructed participants to meditate for five minutes daily, gradually increasing to 20 minutes daily. The other group attended six weeks of a sleep hygiene and education course, where they learned about sleep problems, and self-care methods for improving sleep, and weekly behavioral sleep hygiene strategies. Prior to the start of the six-week programs, the average sleep quality questionnaire score was 10. At the end of the study period, those in the meditation group demonstrated improvement in their sleep score by an average of 2.8 points, compared to 1.1 points in the sleep hygiene group. Among those in the meditation group, daytime impairments, including symptoms of insomnia, fatigue and depression, were improved as well. The study authors conclude that: “Formalized mindfulness-based interventions have clinical importance by possibly serving to remediate sleep problems among older adults in the short term, and this effect appears to carry over into reducing sleep-related daytime impairment that has implications for quality of life.”
Comments Dr. Klatz: “As we age, we typically experience declines in the quality of our sleep. Mindful meditation may help to improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia and fatigue, among older men and women.”
Anti-aging medicine is the fastest-growing medical specialty throughout the world and is founded on the application of advanced scientific and medical technologies for the early detection, prevention, treatment, and reversal of age-related dysfunction, disorders, and diseases. It is a healthcare model promoting innovative science and research to prolong the healthy lifespan in humans. As such, anti-aging medicine is based on solid scientific principles of responsible medical care that are consistent with those applied in other preventive health specialties. The goal of anti-aging medicine is not to merely prolong the total years of an individual’s life, but to ensure that those years are enjoyed in a productive and vital fashion. Visit the A4M’s World Health Network website, at www.worldhealth.net, to learn more about the A4M and its educational endeavors and to sign-up for your free subscription o Longevity Magazine™ e-Journal.